THE ASSOCIATED PRESS—BRIDGEPORT, N.J.
New Jersey State Police on Thursday were trying to determine what caused the dirt track crash that killed NASCAR driver Jason Leffler on Wednesday night.
Leffler died after the crash during the first heat at southern New Jersey’s Bridgeport Speedway, a dirt track 15 miles southwest of Philadelphia.
A spectator, Chris Taitt, said Leffler had been in second place, apart from other cars when his car slammed into a wall at the track’s fourth turn. Taitt said the wing on the car was “flattened like a pancake,” and the seat appeared to be displaced.
Leffler, 37, a native of Long Beach, Calif., has won twice on NASCAR’s Nationwide Series and finished in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500, two of car racing’s signature events. But apart from a last-place finish in Sunday’s NASCAR race at Pocono, he had spent most of 2013 racing on dirt tracks.
Sprint car races can be more dangerous for drivers and spectators because the safety measures taken by series aren’t at the same level.